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Germany Considering Charges for Search Engines to use News Excerpts

     
2:49 pm on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Germany Considering Charges for Search Engines to use News Excerpts [paidcontent.org]
Germany’s government wants search engines and news aggregators to pay news publishers for using pieces of their material.

Its coalition committee has resolved that a collecting society should charge royalties to re-publishers of news material.

“The term of protection should be one year,” according to the committee.

“Commercial traders out there such as search engines and news aggregators should pay a fee to the publishers in the future for the distribution of press products (such as newspaper articles) on the internet.”
This could bring Germany in to line with the UK, where the Newspaper Licensing Agency (originally formed to charge royalties on photocopies of news clippings that are used commercially) now requires commercial news aggregators and their customers each pay a license to, respectively, process and receive summaries of newspapers’ online articles.

4:41 pm on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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IMO the news and magazine industry would be better off if they collectively bought or built their own search service, basically a HULU type site for their industry and cut the big search engines out of the picture altogether.

Once the news is no longer distributed freely, it's easier to start charging for the content and reclaim all the lost ad revenue that Google wrangled away, a win-win for the press.

The potential downside is that Google could start their own news service, which wouldn't surprise me if it's not already on the drawing board.
5:30 pm on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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How are search engines supposed to know which sites are news sites? Its OK for Google News, where sites are manually evaluated, but what about general search?

Why only news sites? News is probably the least original and creative content around. Why not demand search engines pay for all snippets? This just seems to reflect the power of the news industry.

What if a publisher is happy for search engines to use snippets and does not want the collecting society to charge them?